Domestic Bliss – Rediscovering ‘The Thin Man Goes Home’ (US 1945 – 100 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Apr 16, 2014

“I’m a ballistics expert on vacation” – Nick Charles

I’ve always loved the series of ‘Thin Man’ pictures featuring the often inebriated husband and wife team of Nick and Nora Charles, played by the irreplaceable William Powell and Myrna Loy. The entertaining sequel ‘The Thin Man Goes Home’, has Nick’s genial detective return to his New England hometown, where it’s not long before murder rears its head in their peaceful community.

Upon his return to Sycamore Springs, Nick Charles and his wife Nora are soon caught up in a local murder when a young man is shot dead on the front steps …

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Cave Girls and Carry On’s – Remembering Imogen Hassall (1942 – 1980)

Posted in Remember by - Apr 15, 2014

With her long dark hair and busty figure, glamorous Imogen Hassall was for a while, very familiar to British viewers, appearing in over 30 productions between 1963 and 1973. But behind the scenes Imogen was a rather troubled person, hiding insecurities that she would never fully be rid of.

The daughter of poet Christopher Hassall, Imogen was born in Surrey, England, on August 25th, 1942. After studying ballet and following a brief stint in theatre, Imogen’s screen career took off in 1963 when she was 21. In the next few years Hassall would pop up in various television series, including ‘The …

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The Entire World Is A Graveyard – Rediscovering ‘Virus’ / ‘Fukkatsu No Hi’ (Japan 1980 – 155 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Apr 08, 2014

The most expensive Japanese-made movie at the time, the ambitious post-apocalypse drama ‘Virus’ is a very good exploration of a potentially real situation. A sombre epic that occasionally wallows in sentimentality, it’s also a very dark reminder of how we may bring about our own downfall long before nature does.

A canister containing a military-engineered virus smashes during a plane crash, quickly spreading throughout the world, killing most of mankind within months. Only 858 men and eight women have managed to escape the deadly plague. Among the survivors are a group of scientists in Antarctica, who have been stationed there during …

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Anxious Astronauts and Shaking Sheriffs – Remembering Don Knotts (1924 – 2006)

Posted in Remember by - Apr 07, 2014

With his large eyes, small frame and worried smile, Don Knotts was just made for comedy. His hilarious ‘nervous man’ routines made him famous, and he would later utilise this guise in a succession of popular comedy roles on both television and film.

Born Jesse Donald Knotts on July 21st 1924, Don began performing as a ventriloquist, and it was while entertaining the troops in the army that he decided comedy was for him. After a stint on radio, Knotts was cast in the Broadway play ‘No Time for Sergeants’, alongside Andy Griffith. This later led to a part in Mervyn …

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Carry on abroad – Rediscovering ‘Not Quite Jerusalem’ (UK 1985 – 114 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Apr 04, 2014

Also known as ‘Not Quite Paradise’, this pleasant little movie covers quite a few genres. A kibbutz comedy drama, the film is also part romance, adventure and even thriller.

The story involves a group of volunteers from all over the world, who arrive at an Israeli kibbutz for the chance to work and experience its distinctive daily life. Some of the group are lost souls seeking refuge, others are just there for the adventure and to have a good time. Initially put off by their experience, after various dramas and some terrifying moments, they eventually come to respect and appreciate their …

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Our Learned Friend – Felix Aylmer (1889 – 1979)

Posted in Rewind by - Apr 03, 2014

With his perfect diction and noble appearance, Oxford educated stage actor Felix Aylmer also had a long and prestigious career in film and television. Although he often specialised in elderly characters and wise figures (including clerics and judges), Aylmer’s roles also ranged from Shakespearean to the surprising villain.

Born on February 21st 1889, Felix began his stage career in 1911, but it would not be until 1930 when he would begin his long film career. One of his early, notable parts was as the Archbishop of Canterbury in Laurence Olivier’s Oscar-winning 1944 version of ‘Henry V’. The following year he played …

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Love Hurts – Rediscovering ‘Elvira Madigan’ (Sweden 1967 – 91 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Apr 01, 2014
Love Hurts – Rediscovering ‘Elvira Madigan’ (Sweden 1967 – 91 mins)

“Sometimes I ask myself if we deserve to be this happy”

Set in 19th Century Sweden, ‘Elvira Madigan’ is Bo Widerberg’s straightforward re-telling of the true, tragic story of Hedvig Jensen, a 20 year old German tightrope dancer known as Elvira Madigan, who falls in love with 34 year old Sixten Sparre, a cavalry officer who has deserted the Swedish army. Already married with two children, Sixten eventually runs away with Hedvig to Denmark. Living a meagre and initially happy life in the idyllic Danish countryside, it’s not long before all their resources run out. In a desperate final act, they …

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Clean Living – Rediscovering ‘Maid to Order’ (US 1987 – 96 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Mar 28, 2014

1987 was definitely a bumper year for comedies. Titles such as ‘Three Men and a Baby’, ‘Outrageous Fortune’ and ‘Roxanne’, all overshadowed this cute comedy fantasy, which came and went with very little fanfare. A Cinderella story with a twist, ‘Maid to Order’ doesn’t always give off the right message when it comes to the meaning of money, but it is nevertheless a pleasant romantic comedy with a terrific supporting cast.

Spoilt party animal Jessie Montgomery (Ally Sheedy), finds herself arrested and imprisoned for drink-driving and drug possession. Her rich, respected father Charles (Tom Skerritt), despairing at his wayward daughter, wishes …

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Sex, Lies and a Video Tape – Rediscovering ‘Kiss or Kill’ (Australia 1997 – 96 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Mar 26, 2014

Compelling and sometimes controversial, the excellent Australian noir ‘Kiss or Kill’ is filled with enough quirky characters and gripping situations to fill a dozen movies. This 4 way, cross-country chase between scammers, cops and a sexual predator, is actually much more than your ‘couple-on-the-run’ road movie. It is a psychological character study of fraught relationships, damaged individuals and the people they trust. It’s also very funny in places.

Drifting through Adelaide, young scammers Nikki and Al are targeting married businessmen in sure fire stings. Flirtatious Nikki is willingly picked up by these men and taken to a hotel room, where she …

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Kiss Me Deadly! – Rediscovering ‘Pretty Poison’ (US 1968 – 89 mins)

Posted in Rediscover by - Mar 25, 2014

A terrific late Sixties flick, ‘Pretty Poison’ has been rather neglected over the years. A psychological character study with cult stars Anthony Perkins and (especially) Tuesday Weld, at the top of their game.

Recently released from an asylum, former arsonist Dennis Pitt (Anthony Perkins) meets and impresses pretty cheerleader Sue Ann Stepanek (Tuesday Weld), by pretending to be from the CIA on a secret mission. Pitt’s fantasy investigation gets wildly out of hand when his new ‘partner’ Sue Ann, proves to be far more unstable than he is. Sue Ann longs for excitement and to escape her suffocating home-life with …

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